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What to Do with Decommissioned IT Equipment

Posted By IT, Monday, June 23, 2014

You've decommissioned your company’s unwanted IT equipment. Now what? The typical solution for many companies is to recycle the excess technology, but recycling is just one of the available options for decommissioned IT equipment. As a smart IT professional, your priority is to find the most efficient and cost-effective solution for your company. In this article, we’ll look at the three best ways to handle your excess technology.

Recycling Decommissioned IT Equipment

In the best case scenario, recycling your decommissioned IT equipment brings with it several benefits. First, it is an environmentally friendly solution for your unwanted technology. Second, depending upon the services provided by the recycling company, it can be an efficient solution. Many recycling companies offer free pick-up, and will transport your equipment to their facility to be recycled. With these services, recycling can be a fast and simple option for your IT asset disposition.

However, in the worst case, a recycler can prove to be a huge liability for your company. In the hands of an unethical recycler, the data on your technology is not safe. It is not uncommon for unscrupulous recyclers to illegally export your old IT equipment, with your exposed data, to ChinaGhana, or other overseas locations. In these countries, your equipment is disassembled in unregulated conditions, irreparably damaging the health of the local people and polluting the environment. No company wants to be connected to such activity. This is why, if your company does choose to recycle your old technology, you should partner with a certified recycler to ensure that your technology is ethically and responsibly recycled.

Ultimately, choosing to recycle your end of life technology is all about convenience. It is efficient, but as we will see later, it is not the most cost-effective option.

Donating Your Decommissioned IT Equipment

Another option for your decommissioned IT equipment is to donate the technology to a local charity or nonprofit organization. However, you cannot simply hand over your old technology to your favorite nonprofit; they may not have a use for it. To donate the equipment in a helpful way requires a little forethought. First, you’ll need to find a nonprofit organization that could make good use of the technology. Second, you’ll need to make sure that the old equipment is in working condition. If you give nonfunctional IT equipment to a nonprofit organization, it will only become a financial burden for them and waste their already limited resources. To make the most of your donation, it is best to test and refurbish the equipment before donating it.

This process takes work. If your company is looking for a more efficient way to donate your excess technology, it will be best to partner with a company or organization who can facilitate this kind of donation. Ultimately, donating your decommissioned IT equipment may not be the most efficient or cost-effective solution, but the social good produced by aiding the local community outweighs these considerations.

Partnering with an IT Asset Recovery Company

The most efficient and cost-effective solution for your decommissioned IT equipment is to partner with an IT asset recovery company. Many IT asset recovery companies offer the same convenience as a recycler – they will pick-up and transport your equipment off-site, free of charge. The key difference is that IT asset recovery companies specialize in getting you the highest return for the IT equipment that still has value. These companies will purchase your excess corporate technology from you. With the funds generated by this new revenue stream, you can decrease the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your technology, creating a more cost-effective decommissioning process for your company. This combines the efficiency and simplicity of a recycling service with the cost-benefits of a new revenue stream. By utilizing the services of an IT asset recovery company, you can redeem funds from your old technology, and implement a truly efficient and cost-effective strategy.

If you have decommissioned IT equipment, we can help. Partner with us, and we'll manage your IT asset disposition every step of the way, from pickup and transportation, to certified data destruction and ethical recycling. Get started with a free IT equipment valuation.

Tags:  Green IT  IT  technology  technology industry 

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Sustainability Spells Opportunity for IT

Posted By Kristen Feichtner, Green House Data, Monday, August 22, 2011
Updated: Monday, August 22, 2011
Join CORE and the Colorado Technology Association for breakfast and hear four experts on green IT topics ranging from virtualization and energy savings in data centers, sustainability management software to IT asset disposition and more.

Event Details:  Sustainability Spells Opportunity for IT
Date: September 21st, 2011
Time:  7:30 - 10:00
Consulate General of Canada in Denver
1625 Broadway, Suite 2600
Denver CO 80202

For more details and to register for the event, visit

Hope to see you there! 

Tags:  Green IT 

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Technology’s Impact on Corporate Sustainability

Posted By Kristen Feichtner, Green House Data, Monday, August 22, 2011

More and more businesses are realizing that implementing a more sustainable business model is not only good for the environment, but it is now an essential part of smart business.  Going "green” also means saving green.  Companies are being challenged more than ever to find greener ways of operating. 
Turning off lights, using recycled paper products and green cleaning products are some of the ways business offices can start to meet these goals.  But, lurking in the background as the biggest challenge to achieving a sustainable business is actually IT Infrastructure and the energy demands it puts on both budgets and the environment.  In fact, more than 70 percent of electricity consumed in the United States is used in office buildings.  A significant portion of this amount comes from growing technology needs, especially server infrastructure.

As business leaders, it’s important to know that although servers are vital to our company, they are also huge energy consumers.  In order to keep just one server running, it takes 7000 kWh per year to power and cool.  That amount emits around 4 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the environment and costs approximately $700 each year.

What can you do?

Measure:  A good start to make a corporate change is to examine current IT business practices to see where you’re using the most energy now.  CORE offers assistance in this areas.  Check their Sustainability Resources page (in the Energy Efficiency section) and the CORE Catalyst project, a sustainability assessment of member companies.  Some utility companies offer this service, as well.  Measuring first not only helps you see where you could save, it lets you see bottom-line benefits when you start implementing green IT practices. 

Greener Enterprise Solutions:  If you currently have an in-house data center or server room, consider purchasing certified green-e tags to offset the electricity used by technology.  Also, modern servers have a much wider operating temperature range than their predecessors and can run efficiently at higher temperatures.  Turning up the thermostat just one degree warmer can save 4-5% on overall energy consumption.  Lastly, on a larger scale, installing an energy efficient cooling system in the server room can be very beneficial.  This can save around 75 – 90% on the energy needed for cooling.  

Cloud Hosting:  The virtualization offered by cloud hosting has really opened the doors to truly greening a company’s IT because it allows for better utilization of servers.  On average, a dedicated server runs at only 8 - 15% utilized, however consumes almost 100% of the electricity that a fully utilized server requires.  With Cloud hosting, server usage is upped to around 80% capacity without sacrificing speed or performance, thus allowing business to do more with less servers.  For example, if a business utilizes 10 dedicated servers, they are going to pay approximately $7000 per year to power and cool those servers.  If utilizing a cloud platform, their energy cost decreases to $700, a significant cost savings to the bottom line.  Even better, this change would take away over 44 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from our environment each year. 

Outsource:    Use shared data centers, hosted phone systems or cloud computing services. There are service providers to choose from that offer greener options.  These data center providers spread energy usage and costs across multiple clients. 

Green Colocation:  If your company already owns server hardware, opt to colocate in a green data center.  Look for companies that are powered by renewable energy, offer energy efficient data center design and power management services.  If your current provider doesn’t offer a green solution, challenge them to make sustainability a priority or find another company that already does.  Take note that choosing a green data center for these services shouldn’t cost more money.  A solid data center focused on energy efficiency should pass on their energy savings down to their customers.

This post has spoken more about the bigger changes companies can make to impact their sustainability goals, but the smaller tasks can also bring change, even if on a smaller scale. 

Additional ideas to green your IT:

  • Recycle or donate  IT equipment
  • Set computers to go into a sleep mode after being idle for twenty minutes
  • Power down equipment when not in use
  • Keep your computer hardware longer, if possible
  • When buying new computer hardware, opt for Energy Star approved
  • Encourage telecommuting

There are many ways a business can green their technology, but it’s all about starting.  The use of the technology is exploding, but fortunately with these methods, the consumption of electricity doesn’t need to increase at the same pace.

Tags:  Green IT 

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The Promise of Green IT

Posted By Peter Dignan, ProtoTest, Thursday, June 30, 2011
Some folks know that in addition to my involvement with ProtoTest, I'm also the full-time Executive Director of CORE - Connected Organizations for a Responsible Economy. CORE's mission is to help businesses accelerate their adoption of sustainable business practices. One of the most promising areas of business sustainability is Green IT.

Computers of all sorts, from the data center to the desktop to notebooks and tablets, use about 3% of all the electricity generated in the US. But organizations can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions 30% or more by moving business applications to the cloud, according to a study described in the publication Environmental Leader.

More about other aspects of Green IT (such as Environmental Management Systems, smart grid tools and Supply Chain greening) in future posts. 

Tags:  Green IT 

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